Intimidation and extortion continues in Toronto’s Sri Lankan community despite a government ban on fundraising for the Tamil Tigers, an impassioned group of Sri Lankan Canadians said yesterday.

“There is homegrown terrorism here against people. The collection of money is still going on,” said Hasaka Rathnamalala of the Sri Lankan United National Association of Canada, which called a news conference to counter claims of Tamil genocide made last week during a massive demonstration in downtown Toronto.

“The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) has killed more Tamil people than anyone else,” he said. “Sri Lankans are suffering. The only way to stop it is to finish the LTTE. They created the war.”

Although Tamils, who are Hindu, are the minority in Sri Lanka to the Sinhalese majority, they form the majority of the 200,000-strong Sri Lankan community in Greater Toronto.

The 25-year war in Sri Lanka hit a new and bloodier stage last week as troops of the Sinhalese Buddhist-dominated government cornered the Tigers in the northeast, the stronghold of the Tigers who have been fighting for a separate country.

The group showed a video shot outside Kaveri Supermarket in Mississauga last Nov. 27, a day the Tamil community designates as the annual Maaveerar Remembrance Day to honour “fallen freedom fighters” and which Rathnamalala says glorifies suicide bombers.

His organization helped lobby the Conservative government last year to ban the World Tamil Movement, a Canadian group that is alleged to raise money for the Tigers.

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